What is it about?

The interdisciplinary nature of library and information science (LIS) research has been highlighted for some time now. The term “interdisciplinary” is used primarily in the LIS literature as a general concept with different meanings that refer either to the coexistence of researchers from different scientific fields or to cross-disciplinary collaboration expressed in the form of coauthorship. This study analyses the disciplinary profile of LIS researchers with a view to ascertaining the actual level of cross-disciplinary collaboration and identifying all fields involved

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Why is it important?

Because despite much of the literature on LIS research say that this research area is interdisciplinary, in the case of France, Germany, Spain and UK, cross-disciplinary collaboration among all of the scientific fields involved is low, and even lower in LIS than in other fields. The low level of cross-disciplinary collaboration in LIS contradicts the interdisciplinary nature of LIS highlighted in the literature.

Perspectives

More research have to be done to a better use of bibliometric indicators for research assesment. One of the areas to focus should be to draw clear and consistent subareas to do consistent benchmarks when research evaluation is done. So that, we think more attention is needed to one of our conclusions: the lack of cross-disciplinary collaboration and the robust “coexistence” of authors from different disciplinary areas under the same Scopus/SJR subject category also have a bibliometric dimension that can affect researchers and institutions whose research results are evaluated according to the impact indicators of the titles in which they publish. Thus, the data obtained show that, although LIS-affiliated authors participate in a greater volume of work than any of the other areas identified, on the whole they publish in titles with a lower bibliometric impact than any of the other areas. In the case of both the Scopus SJR and WoS JCR quartile rankings, the LIS authors were ranked lowest by percentage of output published in first-quartile titles.

Dr Cristóbal Urbano
Universitat de Barcelona

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This page is a summary of: Cross-disciplinary collaboration versus coexistence in LIS serials: analysis of authorship affiliations in four European countries, Scientometrics, April 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03471-z.
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